Long COVID depression treatment is rarely discussed. Yet, a 2021 study revealed that more than half of Americans surveyed reported symptoms of major depressive disorder after a COVID infection. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the personal journey of our patient Billie who navigated the intricate landscape of long COVID depression and found solace and transformation through innovative treatment at Axis Integrated Mental Health. Billie, having faced the challenges of traditional medications and the unique struggles of long COVID, shares her candid experiences with Spravato and the unwavering support she received from Axis Integrated Mental Health.
This interview sheds light on the little-discussed mental health impacts of COVID, the transformative power of innovative new treatments like Spravato, and the importance of a supportive environment in the face of mental health struggles, especially for long COVID.
What is Long COVID Depression?
Q1: Is long COVID depression just like regular depression?
So having long COVID is a different depression. As I said, I've had depression for a long time and try to different things and when I got sick with long COVID and it just didn't go away, I got to where I was suicidal. I got to where you want to give up.
It's a different type of depression. It's super situational, and so there's ups and downs and you can't can't control any of it. There's days that you get knocked down and you have to stay in bed and you have no choice, and laying in bed with your thoughts is not a happy place.
So having long COVID depression is much different. It is hard to explain, but it's greater. It's more consuming if that's possible to think of when you have depression, it consumes everything. You can't even listen to other people's problems or focus on anything else. It just consumes your thoughts.
Q2: How did your journey with depression begin, and what led you to consider Spravato for long COVID depression treatment?
I started looking for initial treatment for depression a long time ago when my daughter was in high school. And I've tried several medications over the years with three different psychiatrists and one of them recommended that I start Spravato, but he didn't do it at his practice. So I had to find someone and I actually went to the Spravato website and chose Axis, and I called and I spoke to Chris and he answered all my questions. He made me feel really comfortable and I didn't call anybody else. I just chose Axis by talking to Chris.
My first impression was how calm the office is when you walk in, it's just you walk in and it has this calming effect on you immediately. People are friendly and caring and truly care about you, remember about your life. They want to know what's going on and they listen. I can't tell you how many conversations that Chris walked me through while I was in the worst parts of Long COVID depression treatment that he would stay late and talk to me.
Q3: How has long COVID depression affected your friends and family?
Yes, my family has had to watch without being able to help. They can do physical things for me. They can go get things, they can drive me places I can't drive anymore. They can try to be supportive, but they can only listen to so much before it just is too much and it hurts them. And same for my friends. I can't dump everything on one person. There's too much.
So as I've done Spravato as a long COVID depression treatment, and been able to talk to people at Axis and been able to start to feel better and I'm not as depressed all the time, I can have conversations now where there was a point where I couldn't even have a conversation or think about what somebody else was doing or going through. And Spravato changed that.
My husband has been through a lot watching me go through this and he has his own emotions. It's put a lot of pressure on him for me to be so out of it and not be able to help as a parent, as someone to cook, as someone to keep the house up, to be a parent. Even though our kids are older, they still need parents, and it was all in him and he didn't know what to do. I mean, my husband has been through a lot watching me go through this and he has his own emotions. It's put a lot of pressure on him for me to be so out of it , and not be able to help as a parent, as someone to cook, as someone to keep the house up, to be a parent. Even though our kids are older, they still need parents. And it was all in him and he didn't know what to do and he's been great. I couldn't ask for someone better than him in this whole horrible adventure.
Unlocking Hope: Long Covid Depression Treatment At Axis Integrated Mental Health
Q4: How has Axis Mental Health helped you cope with the challenges of long COVID depression?
So before I started Spravato, I went from being an X-ray tech, an MA and lead of an urgent care to being in bed hardly being able to function. So by the time they recommended Spravato, I tried many meds, but nobody wanted to try anything else. They were afraid to change things because of long COVID. So when I came to Spravato, I didn't know if it would work because so many things did not and it does work. It is different. It takes time. It's not a quick fix, it's not a do it once and you're done.
Although my daughter did it for a shorter amount and she's doing great and my journey's longer. And my new psychiatrist at Axis, Sarah Patson, was the first person to be like, yeah, let's change meds. And she did the first visit, we changed stuff and it was a huge, huge difference. And when it doesn't work, she's absolutely willing. Just whatever's best for you.
And my daughter also has someone else at Axis and feels the same way. I recommended some other people who also feel the same way about their psychiatrist at Axis.
Q5: How has Axis Integrated Mental Health supported you throughout your long COVID depression treatment, especially during the challenging times?
So when I first came in, long COVID depression was pretty new and a lot of some people believed in it, some people didn't believe in it at that time, and Axis never questioned. They never said no, that's not what's happening. And they just accepted everything and treated me super special. And I always felt like I was first, no matter who was having a bad day, and they shared their lives with you too, which makes you feel human and makes you feel just as important because you can help someone else.
Q6: What was the Spravato experience like?
With Spravato, I was highly interested in how I would feel and I was scared. So the first time when you get the half dose, you just kind of feel a little numb and that's about it. It wasn't super exciting and I thought, oh, this is going to be easy. And then when you get the full dose, I was not quite prepared for having my eyes closed and seeing all these colors and different shapes and how they changed with the music and how important the music was. And I would open my eyes to make sure I knew where I was, but that went away and I got used to it. And if you ever feel something is wrong, there's always that button to push and somebody comes and helps. So even if you're having a say you're scared in one session because something comes up, there's someone there to help you trust.
A Patient’s Advice to Others Seeking Long Covid Depression Treatment
Q7: What advice would you give to someone considering Spravato for long COVID depression treatment?
The advice I would give someone who came and asked me about Spravato is to a hundred percent do it and accept the process. Accept that it's going to take time and that getting rides might be a pain, but it's worth it. And Axis is willing to help. Make sure that you can get there. Make sure you go and go through the process. They will teach you and show you and comfort you in a way that no one else can. And Spravato will change your thoughts. It will give you a time where your brain just works differently, your brain. Sometimes it feels like it's sped up and my thoughts are coming at me fast and sometimes it's just a very peaceful, no thinking time.
Bring items that make you comfortable, like a favorite blanket or special items. Communicate your needs during sessions, and don't hesitate to seek help if necessary. The experience is about you, so make the most of it.
Q8: What have you and your family noticed about your COVID depression since starting Spravato treatment?
My transformation since I started Spravato and ketamine has been huge. I've gone through many different symptoms and my husband and I both believe that Spravato has done more than help with my depression. We truly feel that it has helped with other symptoms of long COVID that I've gone through, that we've both watched and seen change. So my transformation has been huge and I have low times situational especially, but you just keep going. And sometimes I do it twice a week if I'm really struggling. And luckily my insurance allows me to do that and I call Axis and they always get me in.
Q9: In summary, how would you describe your overall experience with long COVID depression treatment at Axis Integrated Mental Health?
Part of the Axis experience is when you're first during your appointment. That means if you need an extra blanket, an extra pillow, you need a warm face mask, you need different music, different candy, different anything that they will help you figure it out. They will help you find what music works for you. They will help you get to the bathroom when you need to because most people have to go to the bathroom during treatment. It's just the way it is. They always strive to make your appointment the best that it can be, even on their bad days. And everybody has bad days, their job, but you wouldn't know that as a patient. Goal is to be happier and it will come in time. Okay? Axis Integrated Mental Health has the goal to help you be healthier. That's happiness, that's understanding, that's working through your problems, and they're willing to talk to you. They're willing to work with you. They're just a phone call away and somebody will talk to you.
Long COVID Depression Treatment is Within Reach
In concluding this insightful interview about long COVID depression treatment, we've witnessed the poignant story of a resilient individual who triumphed over long COVID depression through the innovative use of Spravato at Axis Integrated Mental Health. The transformative power of this unique therapy, coupled with the unwavering support of the Axis team, has illuminated a path towards mental wellness.
One noteworthy aspect that emerged from our conversation is the accessibility of Spravato treatment. Axis Integrated Mental Health not only prioritizes the well-being of their patients but also recognizes the importance of alleviating financial concerns. With the reassurance that Spravato treatment is covered by insurance, patients can focus wholeheartedly on their healing journey, confident that Axis will handle the intricacies of payment and insurance processes. Please read our article on Spravato costs if you'd like to learn more.
This patient-centric approach underscores Axis Integrated Mental Health's commitment to creating an environment where individuals can channel their energy into recovery without the added burden of financial worries. As we navigate the complexities of mental health, Axis not only offers cutting-edge treatments but also fosters a space where patients can find solace and support.